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Kobe Bryant discusses concerns about injuries and playing through them

"When my shoulder is nagging at me and Achilles is nagging at me and that sort of stuff, it's very easy to kind of walk away from it," Kobe Bryant said before Saturday's game. Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY -- When Kobe Bryant announced that he'd retire after this season, he used the phrase, "There's so much beauty in the pain of this thing."

He was referring to the Los Angeles Lakers' current rebuilding stage, which is far removed from the title-chasing squads Bryant played on throughout his 20-season tenure in purple and gold, but Bryant was also referring to his own struggles on the court as he has battled age, nagging injuries and subpar play.

With the Lakers sitting at a Western Conference-worst 9-32 entering Saturday's game against the Utah Jazz, and with Bryant battling a sore right shoulder and a strained right Achilles -- injuries that have sidelined him for several games recently -- does Bryant still have the same sentiment? Or is it a little too much sometimes with all the injuries?

"There's times when it's a little too much, but I do find the beauty in that," the 37-year-old Bryant said before the game. "It's all a challenge. It's all obstacles. When my shoulder is nagging at me and Achilles is nagging at me and that sort of stuff, it's very easy to kind of walk away from it.

"Not to sound crazy, but I have these self-conversations quite a bit during the game. My Achilles was hurting and I just kind of was like, 'OK, you can't cave into this thing again. You can't.' Because it starts messing with you. As soon as you have an Achilles injury and it's the other Achilles [the one that wasn't torn], you're like, 'Oh, here we go again.'"

Bryant said for him to leave a game and not come back to play feels as though, "I'm caving in to that anxiety of it again. So it was important for me personally to face that and play through that."